Public alerting tests to be distributed in Canada on November 28, 2018

News release

November 19, 2018 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

On November 28, provincial emergency management organizations will conduct public alerting tests across Canada. As such, test alerts should appear on every updated and compatible mobile device connected to an LTE (long-term evolution) wireless network in participating provinces and territories. The test alerts will be simultaneously distributed on radio and television.

To assist the various alerting stakeholders in ensuring that there are no outstanding issues with the system, the CRTC recently required wireless service providers to distribute all additional wireless test alerts that provincial emergency management organizations issue.

The alert messages will be identified as test alerts and will not require Canadians to take action. They will be sent out according to the following schedule:

All province and territories (with the exception of Quebec)

November 28, 2018 1:55 pm*

Quebec

November 28, 2018 2:55 pm

* The test alerts will take place in the provinces and territories’ respective time zones.

For a wireless device to receive a test alert, it must be:

  • Connected to an LTE wireless network at the time the test alert is issued (LTE is commonly referred to as “4G LTE”) ;
  • Wireless public alerting compatible; and
  • Updated with the latest software.

If a mobile device meets these conditions and did not receive the test, Canadians are invited to contact their respective wireless service providers.
To learn more about test alerts and to find out if a cellphone is capable of receiving emergency alerts, Canadians should visit Alert Ready.

Quick facts

  • Since the implementation of wireless public alerting in April 2018, close to 100 alerts and updates have been successfully delivered to warn Canadians of imminent threats.

  • Additional testing of the National Public Alerting System will increase awareness amongst Canadians and allow alerting stakeholders to address any outstanding issues that could reduce the system’s effectiveness.

  • The CRTC set a target that 50% of new devices sold in Canada be wireless public alert compatible as of April 2018, and 100% as of April 2019.

  • The National Public Alerting System involves various stakeholders:

    • Public Safety Canada is the lead department responsible for emergency management and coordinates the development of policies for public alerting with federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders.
    • Emergency alert messages are issued by federal, provincial and territorial governments as well as designated emergency management officials to warn the public of imminent threats, such as fires, tornadoes, floods and Amber Alerts.
    • Provincial officials are responsible for issuing scheduled test messages.
    • Pelmorex operates the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) System, which disseminates alerts to broadcasters and wireless services providers.
    • The CRTC regulates the broadcasting and telecommunications service providers that distribute emergency alerts to the public.

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